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Roddick bound for the top, in due course
By JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer
January 14, 2003

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- If people would quit asking Andy Roddick when he'll be the next American at No. 1, he might be able to concentrate on getting to the top of the tennis world.

Pete Sampras has won a record 14 Grand Slam singles titles, and Andre Agassi has seven. But both are in their 30s, and there isn't another U.S. man with a major title.

Sampras has reduced his touring commitments and, as fit as he is, Agassi probably will follow suit soon.

And Roddick keeps getting the same question.

"That makes 289 straight press conferences,'' he said Tuesday after winning his first-round match at the Australian Open. "It's tough. I mean, I'm coming up, and it's a hard act to follow.''

Tennis fans in the United States had been "spoiled, in the best possible way,'' Roddick said. "Since the Open era began we've always had somebody in the top -- if not No. 1, then the top two or three and competing for Slams.

"I'm trying to get there and I do believe I'll get there. But it's going to take more work and, you know, I'm going to have to take my opportunities as they come.''

If the rest of his game can catch up with his serve, Roddick could race up the rankings.

He fired 19 aces and produced 60 winners in his 6-7 (9), 6-2, 7-6 (0), 6-3 victory over Croatia's Zeljko Krajan at Melbourne Park, where Roddick is seeded ninth.

After leading 4-1 in the first set, Roddick lost it in a tight tiebreaker. He trailed 1-4 in the third but rallied to win that in a tiebreaker.

His fastest serve was 139 mph, while his biggest shot was a curling forehand winner down the line to save a set point as he scrambled to his right.

Roddick appears to have all the weapons to make it to the top, and all the pressure against him. More experience on tour will help the former junior world champion.

"It's tough being in the shadows of Pete and Andre, but that's the way it is and I have to deal with it,'' he said.

Compiling a career-high 56 wins and moving into the top 10 in 2002, Roddick placed second on tour in service games won (88 percent) and was third in aces (658) and first-serve points won (79 percent).

His goal is to move higher in the rankings and advance further in the majors. Other than the U.S. Open, where he's been a quarterfinalist twice, Roddick hasn't been past the third round at a Grand Slam tournament.

"As far as the Slams go, I definitely want to make a dent on one this year,'' he said. "I'm definitely looking to improve on that.''
 

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and his fans!:angel:
 

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Poor Andy!!:( Well, I mean, with all the expectations, must be hard for him.

Similar with Hewitt, especially after Pat Rafter retired. At least the Americans have James Blake.:bounce:
 

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Well a few things after watching his matches.

1. He needs to get rid of that coach of his. From what I've heard, he tells him to "HIT HARDER" on practise courts when in trouble. That's not a good coach, that's a silly coach.

2. He's still very immature in his matches. He needs to slow things down and use his real weapons effectively (serve and forehand) rather than trying to blast his way out of his matches.

3. He needs to improve his attitude. He's still got this "the whole world is under my feet and it's all going to be smooth" attitude. He needs to be more real and work harder, thinking it's going to be a struggle every step.

I have no doubt he's going to be a great player, but he's going to have to make wise decisions in the coming years.
 

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I also think Mardy Fish is an exceptional talent. They mentioned on EUROSPORT that he could make several shots over the net from the baseline at the age of TWO!!!! He showed today a ton of depth on some of his groundstrokes. The precision in his shot and his tactical awareness, movement, power, all-court game and finesse is rare in a player. I put him and Taylor Dent right up there with Roddick and Blake.
 

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Marat&Venus_Fan said:
Well a few things after watching his matches.

1. He needs to get rid of that coach of his. From what I've heard, he tells him to "HIT HARDER" on practise courts when in trouble. That's not a good coach, that's a silly coach.

I heard that too. In practise sessions the coach apparently keeps telling him to hit the ball harder. If its true thats one of the stupidest coaches i've ever heard of. Also the coach was never much of a volleyer in his day, so he cant teach Roddick the proper skills up at net, so he stuffs a lot of volleys. Roddick is obviously fine with his serve and groundies, he just needs help at net, which would be a good case for a new coach.
 
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